Another great art form for expression with exceptional children is dance. Last year at Michael’s adapted school, he participated in an amazing dance class with a dance instructor. He taught the children movement, coordination, and how the two things together could be so much fun. Michael blossomed with greater coordination, self confidence at school and at home. He began to put on ‘dance shows’ for me at home. I compiled a lot of footage on my phone camera which we still watch a year later. But what made this class even more special was that it introduced Michael to theater. Though he is still nervous on stage, he performed two plays with his class last year that had dancing in it, “The Nutcracker” and “Annie.” He really enjoyed moving, and was a natural when he was performing. I was like that as a child. I was be scared performing oral presentations or singing in the choir, but I also had that rush when I was up on stage, like it was where I belonged. I could see Michael was feeling that too.
Another great thing to come out of this new found confidence in dance and movement, was that Michael performed for the first time in our adapted community center’s yearly fashion show. He modeled the Old Navy clothes with two other children models and the adults supervising them, and then at the front of the stage, did a little break dance move and a ‘pose’ as Jean, his dance instructor, had called them. He was grinning from ear to ear, and Johnny and I were beaming with pride.
Dance is another great way to introduce exceptional children to learning better movement and coordination in a non competitive and a fun environment. Even children who were bothered by the background noise on the stage and wore headphones, still benefited and you could see them keeping up with determined looks on their faces. Moms, don’t be afraid to try artistic things with your kids. They’ll surprise you with how far they can go, and what direction they can go in. Plus you’ll all have fun watching them meet a new challenge head on. Until next time.